Rebecca Bryan is a certified-registered teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance, one of six in the state of Florida. She has been teaching for over twenty years, owning and directing three schools in Houston, TX, Bradenton, FL and now Sarasota, FL. She has had extensive classical ballet training under the Royal Academy of Dance and the Cecchetti Council of America.
Her keen sense of communication and patience with students and their individual abilities, instills a discipline and eagerness to learn. Her unique method of teaching sparks a love of the arts in students of all ages.
Meghan Sinclair has had 20 years of classical ballet and dance training under master teachers, from all over the world. She was successful in her RAD Major Syllabus Advanced I Exam and has been accepted into the RAD Teaching Certificate Program.
Meghan took her first RAD exam at the age of seven passing with Distinction. She has been in love with the art of expression through movement ever since. Meghan has encompassed the passion of discipline, love of performance and the heart and patience for teaching.
Emily Arthur is thrilled to be a teacher at Sarasota Dance Academy, and is eager to embark on another exciting season of dance. Emily graduated from the University of South Florida – St. Petersburg, where she earned a degree in history and education with summa cum laude distinction. Previously, Emily has danced with several local schools, where she has accumulated years’ worth of training in classical ballet and en pointe. She enjoys performing, and has had roles in various dance and community theater productions. She has also spent her time as a teaching assistant in several elementary and high school classrooms, where she has worked to infuse the arts with common curriculum. She seeks to foster an environment that is creative, engaging, and thoughtful, and looks forward to working with students of Sarasota Dance Academy as they navigate and explore their education and passion for dance.
Rubie is an athletic trainer at IMG Academy where she works with the varsity and national football programs. Rubie began dance at a young age at the Turning Point Dance Center in Biddeford Maine. She grew up on performance and competition teams at TTPDC and danced for her high school’s dance company, where she first started choreographing for school performances. After high school Rubie joined the modern dance company, Collective Motion. She attended the University of Southern Maine, graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Athletic Training to go on to Western Michigan University, obtaining a Masters of Science in Athletic Training. While in college she not only danced and choreographed for Collective Motion, she was also a member of the Lady Red Claws and a Portland Pirates Ice Girl. Dance has always been an important part of her life and she couldn’t be happier to share her love for it.
Joelle Kissel began dancing at the age of five, training in ballet, tap and jazz. She continued dancing competitively until she graduated from high school, adding pointe, contemporary, modern, musical theatre and hip hop to her training. Joelle continued her dance education at East Carolina University, where she majored in dance performance. While she was there, Joelle had the opportunity to attend and perform in the American College Dance Association in 2013 and 2017. She graduated from ECU in 2017 with a BFA in dance performance and performed in Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream, in their production of Fiends that fall. Shortly after she trained in ballroom dancing until 2018. Joelle then pursued a fitness education and obtained certifications in pilates reformer, personal training, and BarreAbove.
Sara was born and began her ballet training in Italy, where she was awarded scholarships and succeeded in many competitions, achieving 5 times the 1st place in her region, the 8th place in the Italian Championships of Dance FIDS and the 10th place at the World International Dance Organization IDO. She was then invited to join the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, Russia. She studied ballet with Maria Sizova and Contemporary, dance Conditioning, Character and Historical dance with other Master Professors of the Bolshoi.
Sara worked and performed with Davis Robertson, co-founder of the New York Dance Project and former artistic director of the Joffrey Ballet School, as his partner in a Pas de Deux choreographed by him for the Seaside Dance Festival, alongside NYC Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Complexions Contemporary Ballet and others. She danced with the company Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida in Miami as a trainee, under the instruction of the artistic director Vladimir Issaiev. She worked as guest ballet teacher and received invite to work twice for the Bolshoi Ballet Academy’s summer intensives in Urbino and Florence, Italy. There she assisted the Master Professors of the Bolshoi Irina Pyatkina and Ekaterina Trunina in rehearsals and classes, as well as assisting Dmitry Povolotsky and Davis Robertson in the management of the program and final performances.
Her love for dance is what brought her to Florida, where she met and settled down with her husband. Besides her love for ballet and dance, she is also a Barre instructor, who aims to inspire others to achieve a healthy relationship with dance and fitness and to cheer their progress. Today she is an American Ballet Theatre's Certified Teacher ABT® and passionate Dance Instructor.
Sara Friend began her dance training in the core subjects of ballet, tap, and jazz and quickly found her passion for tap. She performed and competed with her high school’s premier coed show choir. Throughout her time as a student at New College of Florida, Sara was a tap dance teacher and choreographer for college students who were new to the art of tap dancing.
Sara strongly believes in the power of dance as an art form that can help students to express themselves, love who they are, and believe in their abilities. As she instructs, she creates a collaborative atmosphere that focuses on rhythm and musicality, body awareness, and the power of performance for cultivating joy both in performers and in their audience.
HEATHER NELSON ARAD RTS
Heather Nelson began her training at the age of eight with Christine Donald ARAD and passed her first Royal Academy of Dance exam, Grade 2 a few months later. She continued training in the RAD syllabus through the age of 16 completing her Grade 8 Award with Distinction and Vocational equivalent exams through Advanced 1. Heather continued her training with Nancy Davis, Founder and Artistic director of The Portland Ballet. In 2002 Heather was awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet, with an emphasis on Instruction and Performance from the University of Utah.
Heather performed professionally for four seasons as a member of the San Diego Ballet, where she was privileged to be cast in numerous created and repertoire soloist roles. Her professional career continued for and another four years as a Featured Dancer and Principal Swing in Don Arden’s Jubilee! at Bally’s Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Heather became an Associate of the RAD after passing her Advanced 2 ballet examination with Distinction in 2007. She then continued her studies successfully completing her Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies course to become a Registered Teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance in 2010. Mrs. Nelson has been a Florida Department of Education Certified teacher since 2016 earning her Professional Certificate in 2019. She is also a Certified Teacher of Progressing Ballet Technique since 2017, and a Member of the Florida Dance Education Organization.
Mrs. Nelson aspires to be a lifelong learner and to pass on the love and joy of ballet that has been so generously shared with her. She has had the opportunity to instruct at numerous public and private institutions, conservatories, and studios for the past 20 years and is looking forward to continuing her studies with the RAD and University of Bath as a part of the 2020 cohort for the Master of Arts Education (Dance Teaching). She is currently teaching ballet and dance full-time at North Port High School, Sarasota county’s newest Visual and Performing Arts Magnet and 2020 Florida Arts Model School award recipient from Florida Alliance for Arts Education.
We are excited to welcome Ms. Stephanie to our staff this season. She brings her fabulous attention to detail and organization expertise to the various projects she does for SDA. Her organization and positive outlook helps SDA to run smoothly!